Category Archives: indie games

Tale of Tales Goodies

Tale of Tales is the Belgian group led by Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn that brought us the thought-provoking poetic “art game” (for lack of a better term, I suppose) The Graveyard. It was an intriguing piece that generated a lot of discussion around the tubes, much of which was unfortunately negative because many people didn’t quite get that it doesn’t fit the traditional definition of “game”. It was also created with the Unity engine, a very cool 3D game engine/development tool that runs primarily on Macs, and which I came very close to using for Vespers. In any case, I thought it was a worthwhile experiment and I have a lot of respect for what these folks are trying to do.

Of [More...] Read the rest

Also posted in games as art | Leave a comment

The Winner: Frayed Knights

A few of the scattered individuals who stop by here every now and then might not be aware, but there was a year-long competition sponsored by, a group dedicated to developing tools to help indie developers create RPG games, including MMORPG games. The contest started in April 2007 and, I would assume, finished in April 2008, with the goal of creating the best CRPG game based on one of the Torque Game Engines. First prize was an impressive $10,000, and a number of groups entered.

I say that I assume it finished in April 2008 only because I never heard anything about a winner, and had completely forgotten about it. I do know that Jay Barnson of The Rampant Coyote had entered, and [More...] Read the rest

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Pirate Adventure

Indie Developer Cliff Harris (‘cliffski’) of Positech Games has been running an interesting experiment of late. In his search to answer the question, “Why do people pirate my games?”, he decided to take the question directly to the pirates themselves. A public, genuine request for opinions, posted on his blog. The request was also submitted to slashdot and the Penny Arcade forums, and made its way to other sites like ars technica, digg, and bnet. The response, as it turned out, was huge — hundreds of comments on the blog, hundreds of e-mails, and many more responses at the other sites. And, interestingly, it seemed as though people really did have something they needed to get off their chests.

cliffski’s summary of the results [More...] Read the rest

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The Money Factor

Seems that money is on people’s minds lately.

Jay at The Rampant Coyote recently published an article on The Escapist about mainstream developers going indie. It’s a good read that involves a number of interesting folks from around the indie scene, including Steven Peeler from Soldak Entertainment, Steve Taylor from NinjaBee, and one of my Torque heroes, Andy Schatz of Pocketwatch Games, among others. The article nicely summarizes many of the issues driving and confronting indie game developers — creative freedom, independence, marketing and publicity, piracy, and distribution. Of course, underlying most of these issues is the money factor. It is, of course, the focus of the main question (“Why give up a steady paycheck in order to labor in relative obscurity?”), and from the [More...] Read the rest

Also posted in games as art, interactive fiction | Leave a comment

No More Slamdance

Overheard from Jonathan Blow, he of Braid development fame, via Sam Roberts: the Slamdance Games Festival is cancelled, and appears likely to be no more. No big surprise there, but it’s unfortunate nevertheless. What a startling and swift fall into oblivion, triggered entirely by one little controversial entry.

It’s a shame because, as one commenter noted, it was a good way for indies to get exposure outside of traditional gaming circles. Aaron Reed’s report of his experiences there pushing his interactive fiction game “Whom the Telling Changed” was great stuff, especially the game transcript analysis he provided. Other shows are picking up the slack, like IndieCade, but there was still something about Slamdance being in Park City along with the Sundance festival [More...] Read the rest

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